October 16, 2007

Do you wonder if your teen is on drugs??

My oldest son put me thru an ordeal for about 2 years that slapped me in the face, bringing me to a reality I wasn't ready for. This was a child that got straight A's in school, never talked back, and did what he was told. Then, out of the blue, my son changed. I had no idea that I was about to begin a roller coaster ride that would take me thru depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, endless worrying, and the worst heartache I would ever experience in my life. We both survived (barely) but here are some signs that your teen may be in trouble:

Problems with friends. Normal teens focus on their friends. In fact, their friends and the people they hang out with often become more important than their family. When a teenager is a loner, it may be a sign that something is seriously wrong.

Difficulty with school. Refusing to go to school is an unmistakable sign that something is wrong. The same goes for a marked change in school performance and getting caught ditching school.

Behavior that doesn't fit in. If your child is considered "weird" or "odd" by other kids their age, it should be cause for concern. Not only is it painful for an adolescent to be an outsider, but it could signal a serious mental disorder.

Trouble with alcohol or drugs. For many teens, experimenting with alcohol and drugs is part of growing up. But if this experience is accompanied by a drop in grades or becomes a regular occurrence, it's time to seek help.

Depression and anxiety. Children who are consistently sad, anxious, moody or negative may be experiencing the symptoms of an emotional problem. A preoccupation with death should always be taken very seriously. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among adolescents.

Destructive behavior. When a child hurts himself or others, it's a red flag he or she needs help. This includes violent temper tantrums, fighting, threats, hurting animals, vandalism, setting fires and being fascinated with weapons. If your child has a run-in with the law, it's a clear call for help. (I spent so much time in court, they knew me by my first name).

Other Warning Signs:

• Preoccupation with obesity even if body weight is normal or below normal.
• Changes in eating or sleeping patterns.
• Inability to cope.
• Many complaints about physical ailments.
• Dramatic mood swings.

Whatever you do, don't give up and don't back down. I found myself dealing more with issues pertaining to his friends and lack of discipline from their parents, than with anything else. Don't be afraid of your children. I am a single Mom that took on a 16 year old and lived to talk about it. You can accomplish anything, just be unrelenting and always let the child know who is in charge. That's the bottom line.


baby~amore' said...

thank you for this wise advice.I have a 14yr old too and I am aware he could develop problems.
Glad you both survived.

Stu said...

Your essay with tips on teens and drug-use warning signs has been nominated for Hot Stuff Of The Week by our readers over at GNMParents. Congrats and good luck in the voting!

cra working mom said...

Thanks for the tips. Mine are too little for these sort of worries, but I know my time's a comin'! :(

Akelamalu said...

I popped over from Rising Blogger to read your winning post. Congratulations on the much deserved award.

Having two sons aged 36 & 31 with children of their own and been through what you write about I can now say to them "now you will see what you put us through!" :)